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28/06/2005

BBC and British Film Institute take to 'The Open Road'

The BBC and the British Film Institute (bfi) are hitting the road together again with a new project.
Following the success of their collaboration on The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon the BBC and the bfi have announced a new The Lost World co-production based on Claude Friese-Greene's archive collection.
In 1924 pioneering filmmaker Claude Friese-Greene drove from Lands End to John O'Groats.
The film he made, 'The Open Road', is a magical travelogue of the beauty spots of Britain in the Twenties.
It was a remarkable feat for those early days of the automobile – but even more remarkable in that the film he made was in colour.
During the first two weeks in July, the BBC is re-creating Friese-Greene's original journey, from Lands End to John O'Groats, in a BBC Learning Bus and inviting people across the country to board the bus and watch the film from their local areas.
There will also be five regional events across the country at which Mitchell and Kenyon documentary presenter Dan Cruickshank - along with experts from the bfi National Film & Television Archive and the BBC team - will show the archive film to local audiences in the hope of discovering vital clues about the history of the people, buildings and landscapes depicted in the films.
Controller of BBC Two Roly Keating says of the venture: "The success of The Lost World of Mitchell & Kenyon proved how fascinated British audiences are with these astonishing visions of a lost era.
"In the Friese-Greene footage, the sheer quality of colour photography makes this an equally remarkable source of forgotten history."
Amanda Nevill, Director of the bfi, said: "The Open Road is yet another fantastic gem from the National Film archive and shows extraordinary, early colour film of towns, roads and people of Britain in the 1920s.
"It gives us a glimpse into a bygone era which, like Mitchell & Kenyon, serves as a powerful reminder of why it is so important to preserve and cherish our film heritage.
"The public demand for access to wonderful films like this adds an urgency to our efforts to restore and showcase them and the roadshow is a marvellous opportunity to discover and learn more about The Open Road and its context."
The five Open Road regional events will be in: Plymouth; Ross-on-Wye; Cardiff; Blackpool and Glasgow.
The Open Road roadshow will visit: Lands End, Penzance, St Ives, Torquay, Winsford, Badgworth, Weston-Super-Mare, Raglan, Chepstow, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Market Drayton, Conwy, Liverpool, Windermere, Carlisle, Dumfries, Alloway, Kilbarchan, Loch Lomond, Stirling, Callander, Oban and John O'Groats.
The three x 60 minute television series will be in production throughout the summer for transmission in the 2006.
(GB)
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